Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Simple Living Handbook and Breathing Room

I heard of Lorilee Lippincott by reading her Simplicity Parenting blog, and I was happy to see that one of her books was in my library system.  She mentions Simplicity Parenting and Dave Ramsey's work as well as a few other inspirations.  We're interested in the Dave Ramsey ideas and got a couple of books we haven't read yet.  They'll come along as we continue to simplify.

I didn't read every word of this book, but I picked the areas I really wanted to check in with (as regards living simply), and her book is a nice thought-provoker.  For example, she looks at a person's closet first in terms of what they'd consider ideal (which could even mean adding things to it).  The ideals are considered first around the home, and that's connected to another book I'm in the middle of called Breathing Room: Open Your Heart by Decluttering Your Home.

This one compares rooms with parts of your heart and gives practical advice on several layers.  It's not just about the stuff in this book--it's much more about what we're dealing with that is manifested in that clutter.  There are simple guides for looking at each room and what you'd like to experience in that room.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Friend's Birthday Gift

When we were "shopping" recently for a gift for a little boy whose party we were invited to, it was interesting how all the trappings and wrappings added up.  For the cost of such things, we could make a little something extra.  We used fabric markers on a blank tote and make the cards.  Inside we placed mainly art supplies (and then some bubbles for good measure).  Once there, it struck me that all the other gifts were (large) toys so ours was a little different.  We never know what to do for little boys, honestly.  But all children (that we know) like to make things.
Each girl made her own card, and each one decorated one side of the tote.  The E side we have here is the family's water slide with her, the little boy and the dog in the center.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Solstice Beginnings

The Summer Solstice is this coming Saturday, and we began preparations Sunday.  We decorated with any relevant Summer treasures we typically set out: art, toys and all in between those distinctions.
The girls and I started by getting ivy from our fences and then weaving it into a crown/wreath for each of us.  Then we looked for different kinds of flowers in the yard and herbs from the garden.  Gram brought gardenia to add to our pretty flower parts.
 We also selected various leaves and petals to "press" with a hammer into watercolor paper (with a paper towel on top).  We might do some other artwork with these impressions.
 After our Father's Day meal, we made suns out of sculpey and then baked them.

Friday, June 13, 2014

More music in our day

We're working with songs for transitions and just to make things fun.  The day could flow more peacefully with these songs.  Even though Z is a bit older for this merry-making, she's good about going along with these things.

Here is one we found for the bath:

Tiny Turtle Song

A lot came from Intellidancing, a group from Canada who has classes for kids 0-5.  Here are some that we tried:

Open Shut Them
This is part of Eleni's meal blessing from daycare. :)

Clap Your Hands
This one is quite familiar to us as it's part of a CD we like to sing and play instruments with, but it has other actions we haven't tried.

Jack Be Nimble

Spicey Salsa
This one is a take on the peanut butter song. :)

IntelliShakers Action Song(s)

We have more resources on CD to work with/through and adopt as we like them.  We'll post about all that if it's helpful.  We start a week of Kindermusik soon so this is a good beginning for that as well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TINY-The Movie

TINY-The Movie is a documentary about the tiny house movement and about one young couple deciding and then building one.
It isn't long at all--so worth the hour or so to watch it.  Just the process of building it was interesting to me; and I loved the questions we are posed about the style of life we are proactively choosing for ourselves, whatever size home we live in.  Simplicity is a process, a lifestyle, if you will.  I found this film to fuel those helpful questions related to our home, life and family values.  (If you're a style person or a decor watcher, check this one out.  There is a lot of ingenuity at work in these homes.)

The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart

Another nice read of late was The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart by Cynthia Bourgeault.  
It looks to a lot of the Church mystic tradition but stretches beyond even it to explain how people really unify themselves with the Divine and find some kind of harmony of life.  It was a short read and one that didn't waste a lot of time overdoing the import of each section.  Bourgeault did a good job balancing the personal and the universal also.  I'm interested in some of the practices mentioned.